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U.S. Department of State
93/09/13 Remarks at signing of Israel-Palestinian Declaration
Office of the Spokesman


                           REMARKS BY 
                   SECRETARY WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                              AT THE
                  ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN DECLARATION
                          OF PRINCIPLES
                             AT THE 
                   WHITE HOUSE SIGNING CEREMONY
                        September 13, 1993


    Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Chairman Arafat,
distinguished visitors, guests, friends and colleagues:  I am
honored to have witnessed the signing of this agreement on
behalf of the United States.  Millions of people have dreamed of
this moment -- this moment for this very region.

    The Israelis and the Palestinians have taken a dramatic step
toward a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace that can lift
the lives of the people of the Middle East.

    They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles in framing
the Declaration of Principles and the terms for mutual
recognition.  They have broken through the barriers of fear and
hatred.  Throughout the process, they have demonstrated
extraordinary courage and statesmanship.  This gives genuine
hope that they will complete the journey that has begun today.

    This achievement was the product of a sustained effort,
international in scope and thoroughly bipartisan here in the
United States.  The foundation for this breakthrough, as the
President said, was laid at the Madrid Conference of October
1991, which overcame the impediments to direct Arab-Israeli
talks and launched a real peace process.  The Madrid success, in
turn, could not have been realized without its own foundation: 
the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1974 and 1975 disengagement
agreements involving Israel, Egypt, and Syria.

    In the distinguished group assembled here, I see not only
those responsible for today's breakthrough but also men and
women who for decades have toiled in the search for peace in the
Middle East.  I salute and congratulate each one of you.

    I also salute and congratulate those who helped at critical
times.  In particular, I express appreciation to Foreign
Minister Holst and his Norwegian colleagues, who worked under
very difficult circumstances to facilitate the negotiation of
the Declaration of Principles.  Foreign Minister Moussa and his
Egyptian colleagues, and many, many others gave unstinting
support to the peace process.

    We are all proud of this remarkable achievement.  But we also
understand that more remains to be done if this newly planted tree
is to bear fruit.  The United States is committed to a
comprehensive peace between Israel and all its Arab neighbors.  We
hope and believe this agreement will spur progress in the talks
between Israel and Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

    The United States is prepared to do its part during the
negotiations that lie ahead.  We will spare no effort in helping
the parties turn their agreements at the table into realities on
the ground.  We will remain a full partner in the search for peace.

    But certainly we are not the sole partner.  We need the entire
international community to join us in this work and to oppose any
effort to subvert this hard-won peace.  Many, many problems remain
to be solved.  This Israeli-Palestinian agreement cannot be
permitted to fail.

    As today's historic agreement demonstrates, the Middle East
does not need to be a cauldron of hostility.  It can instead be a
cradle of hope.

    Thank you.

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